Hello! This is Part 2 of my Honest Holiday Toy Guide, focusing on our most beloved and well loved toys we already own, particularly for kids ages 1-7. If you are looking for older kid’s toys you will want to take a look at Part 1.
A quick run down on why this toy guide is different from other guides and why it is so helpful:
ALL of these are toys we actually OWN, that my kids have loved for years!
All of these toys can be found on Amazon or Target, with ONE exception
This is not sponsored or a list of toys I am getting paid to promote. (If you buy through some links I make (very) small amounts of money but that is not my purpose). I want to share ONLY what we as a family have loved the most in our 10 years of experience raising kids and buying (so freaking many) toys!
1. Our Cuddle + Kind dolls have been a favorite of my girls. Sometimes my girls will attach themselves to dolls and sometimes they won’t- these handmade dolls were loved from the moment they saw them! Camille left her doll in the neighbor’s house for a week while they were out of the country, and she sobbed when she realized she was going to have to wait for them to come back! The husband and wife behind Cuddle + Kind are pretty amazing- they feed 10 hungry kids with each doll purchased- so it’s a great company that’s trying to do some real good.
2. This bear puzzle is one of our few toys that has survived all 4 kids! Great for 1 to 3 year olds, they all have taken turns loving dressing up the bears and talking about each pretend scenario the bears are in. It’s a sweet little wooden puzzle made to last, obviously.
3. Waldo is still a classic and just as loved by this generation! He became a favorite for each kid around 4 years of age. Our 10 year old still loves these- but he’s got them all memorized now. The kids request a few pages of a Waldo book as bedtime stories all the time.
4. Our Barbie Dreamhouse was the big gift for my oldest daughter two Christmases ago, and naturally I wish it was wooden and not so ugly looking. But I have to give it up to Barbie, it is hands down the favorite dollhouse in our house still, and I know why- there are so many little nooks and cool parts of the house. The working garage, the pool, the elevator, so many rooms- lots to do here. Both our daughters (2 and 7) and our 4 year old son have accumulated hours and hours playing with it. It is in perfect condition, so considering it is plastic and we have owned it for 2 years now… I consider that well worth it.
5. Great puzzle for 3 year olds. At first they will need some help but they will soon get the hang of it. I love that there are 4 wooden puzzles in the box, my kids like to do all 4 at a time so it takes them a while.
6. This is actually our 3rd Zingo, because my kids wear it out and lose the pieces, and then the next child in line becomes old enough and I know they will love it too so I buy it again! This is also my go-to game I buy for all 4 year old birthdays. I can not tell you how many games I have played of this…. in the hundreds, easily.
7. Fun very well made ride on toy when we had babies in the house. Great for a 1 and 2 year olds. Glides all over our wood floors without scratching, and pretty cute to look at, especially compared to other plastic ride on toys! I was sad when the kids outgrew this little guy.
8. My mom bought this game for the kids when I was pregnant- I was so sad when I realized this is the kind of game an adult has to actively participate in, when all I wanted to do was lay on the couch.🤷🏽♀️ It is actually just fine for a non-pregnant person… or a pregnant person that isn’t as exhausted as I was- just some jumping in a circle or hopping on one leg, etc. Our game is duct taped together because it has been so well loved… for a while it was the only game Leo wanted to play. This is probably best for kids between the ages of 3-5.
9. I am so glad we bought this kitchen 4 years ago. It has all the basics you need, the oven lights up, its not bad to look at (lots of hacks online if you want to make it nicer than your own kitchen), and the price is so good. I love when my kids love toys that aren’t completely plastic! (And bonus, these Hearth + Hand pots and pans go perfectly with it!) Ok, now that I’ve told you what worked for us, if I were to buy a kitchen again I would probably choose this one. It’s similar, but kind of like the newer more stylish version of the IKEA kitchen! I mean, the window? And the farmhouse sink? Ah!
10. If you have a child that is a singer, you need to give them a karaoke machine. Of course it sounds like it will be annoying, because it will be! But the hours of fun they will get out of it will more than make up for the noise…. seriously. The microphone alone lends itself to all kinds of games that kids like to play… without adults!
11. We finally tried the trendy no pedal bikes and will never go back to training wheels! We started Leo on his Strider bike when he was 3, and he spent the first few months just walking along with it, never gliding or going faster than a snail’s pace. I about gave up on it… but one day it just clicked for him. He started gliding and speeding all over the place, keeping up with his older siblings! We have a golf course here we like to bike on during days the golfing is closed, and he can bike the entire course on his Strider bike, usually ahead of me (3+ miles!).
12. We gave this watch to my daughter for her 6th birthday and she was over the moon for it. It is kind of funny that I am recommending this because it wasn’t MY favorite, but it certainly was a favorite of my daughters. I can’t even tell you all that it does- I know it has a camera and some silly games, nothing addictive. She thinks its the same as my Apple Watch and I know that’s part of the appeal. She was crazy about this watch and wore it religiously, and it seemed to be a popular item amongst her friends. It did have a sad ending. The watch is NOT waterproof… so know going in it’s really only a matter of time before they wear it in the shower or something similar.
13. These craft boxes are so cleverly made- each box is only $10 and they have all kinds of creative ideas! Each box has a different project, appealing to both genders. I love the price so I always buy 1 or 2 at Christmas. They’re ideal to put away for rainy day fun or something to take out in February when the other toys have lost some appeal.
14. This bike is ideal for 1-2 year olds… just before the Strider bikes! We kept it inside the house at first and Camille would zip all around us! She loves it. No pedals and just 3 wheels, so there is nothing to slow them down or speed them up except their own feet!
15. We own all these Highlights Hidden Picture books that are currently published, but I always look to see if they are selling any “new releases” when I am at Target. Both my 4 and 7 year old love them. This is a GREAT gift if you need quiet time from your child. The sticker ones are slightly easier, but my 4 year old will happily do the books without stickers too if that’s all he has. I love that these books keep kids busy and quiet. Leo finishes every single puzzle in the sticker book in about two weeks time.
16. Scooters are not only affordable options, but they are tons of fun. I’ve seen kids on social media using these Razors at young ages, but my children were around 5 years old before they got into them. I prefer Razor brand because they are easiest to steer, and they can teach themselves to use the brake.
17. Another good puzzle we like that is perfect for age 4 and 5. I love that it has a frame the puzzle sits in. Like most puzzles, my kids had to do them with me a few times, and then they would be able to do them on their own. (We loved these puzzles for 2 and 3 year olds, but I had to put a little mark on the side that was facing up to make it easier for them.)
There you have it! And if you need to, take a peak at our Honest Holiday Toy Guide Part 1 for kids 6+!